Did you hear the Big News? New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are reopening on May 19, 2021. Tell all your friends! The pandemic is over!!!
See that wheezing old Sears Hotpoint refrigerator pushed up against the door? It goes nowhere. See those masks hanging by the door and the 5-gallon jug of 90% alcohol hand sanitizer? Those stay. Think you’ll be seeing me and Neil on date night squeezed into some overpriced diner on Broadway? Think again.
People pretty much everywhere were basically over this whole mask-hand-washing-social-distancing dance by last summer. It’s been a constant source of…
People always ask if that’s his real name but no one’s ever gotten a straight answer out of Twitch. By “people” I mean tourists and, yes, even a town as forgettable as San Sierlo gets tourists in this part of the country.
Danny and I moved here in 2004 after that war criminal was reelected in the U.S. I’d already begun working with an Italian attorney to establish dual citizenship and the morning after the election we booked one-way flights. It was a lot trickier to settle in another country than we’d expected and we thought we were coming into…
I was a dorky, anxious, little-old-lady of a 12-year-old the day Governor James Rhodes of Ohio called in the National Guard to put down the peaceful demonstration against the illegal bombings in Cambodia on the Kent State University Campus on May 4, 1970.
Every night on the news David Brinkley would solemnly intone the daily body count in Viet Nam. They don’t do that anymore, do they?
My mother dismissed the “police action” in Southeast Asia as a little war.
My best friend wore a Prisoner of War bracelet with the name of a POW on it.
The memory I…
The day after the 2016 election — talk about your days that shall live in infamy — my Mom died. I don’t think the two events were related but what do I know? While there remains a fair amount of tension between me and my sisters, I promised my niece I’d be there for the funeral. I would have been there regardless. She was my Mom.
My partner and I flew to Cleveland and stayed in a (really crappy) motel on Lake Avenue just up the block from my last apartment in the city, The Kenton.
I lived in Cleveland…
Yet another party I came to late. I didn’t bother setting up a Twitter account until early 2019. I can’t even remember exactly why I did it. Probably something to do with promoting my writing. Heh.
Moving right along…
I still speak digital with an accent so my social media presence is hit or miss. Mostly miss. The closest thing to viral I’ve ever put out into the digital arena was probably a photo of my cat’s kittens (you can never go wrong with kittens on social media).
So I got onto Twitter and found myself humming a few bars…
I have my strategies. I didn’t used to and I suffered for it. Some are sensible and some are more, I guess you’d say superstitious. Like how I still make the sign of the cross when I pass a church. And here’s something funny. My name is Grace. So right after I make the sign of the cross, passing whatever church, I giggle. Or spit.
I’m not going into the whole thing. It would take too long and I have things to take care of or I’m not sleeping indoors tonight. Let’s just say that I’m the person I used…
A year ago — it was really only a year, huh? — we found ourselves in the unbelievable situation of not being able to leave our apartment for anything but essentials. There was a line of socially distanced people outside the grocery store where we all loaded up on those essentials.
One absolute essential to surviving this unprecedented global catastrophe was ice cream. The other was walking in Central Park, our own personal 840-acre backyard.
Maybe it’s different now but just past the middle bit of the last century, it was standard operating procedure to not tell the kids what was going on. I recall overhearing something about Mom having cancer once. She went away for a couple of days but no one said why. We didn’t ask. Also SOP.
Once in a while, something came along that required the kids be told something even if it was not really the whole story.
How about Princess? Don’t like that either, huh? Sunshine, Pumpkin, Dollface, Baby Girl, Sweet Cheeks? None of those work for you? Geeze, kiddo, you sure are sensitive.
How about this, then: get me another Seagrams and Seven on the rocks, sweetheart.
Where was I?
Oh, right. So a young guy like you, basically you’re screwed. I’m sorry but it’s better you hear it from someone who’s going to give it to you straight. When men like me and Jerry over there — you need another one there, Jer? No? You’re good? Ok, you’re good — were coming up, sure it…
When we shove a seed into the dirt we are — usually without knowing it — making a deal with the universe. Here, we say, is our hope: a crop. We need your cooperation in seeing this thing through. We good?
For over 10,000 years, people have been making this deal and it has to be admitted it’s working out in the Big Picture. We’ve managed to increase human population by 25 fold in that span. Nearly everyone else on the planet isn’t particularly thrilled with this development and that’s a topic for another piece.
Yeah, rah rah rah Human…